In this economic crisis, people tend to overspend. It is important to take the time to sit down and think about things that are necessities versus those that are luxuries.
Fashion is a luxury that seems to interest college students the most. Most students want to look their best and they find a way; whether by shopping in the clearance section of a brand name store or leaning toward designer items that may only be acquired through credit card use.
Before shopping, consider this:
BUDGET YOUR MONEY
Assistant Professor of Business Doug Lainson explained that as the web advances, there have been new creations that help with money budgeting and financial tracking, such as iPhone applications like MoneyBook or iReconcile.
It is important to jot down and track everyday expenses that add up and may significantly reduce your money.
“I go to the store with a list of things that I need and the exact amount of money I am going to use so that I will not have the opportunity to buy things that I do not need. Otherwise I would be tempted to keep buying other things,” Freshmen Nkese Etokudo said.
“Creating a budget is the first step to getting your personal finances under control. Most people don’t realize how much they spend every month just on ‘stuff’ like a quick trip to Starbucks or pizza and a movie,” Lainson said.
EVERY TIME YOU PURCHASE SOMETHING NEW, GET RID OF AN OLD ITEM
In many cases it is easier to continue buying than to get rid of clothes or any other items you acquire through the years.
Instead of accumulating items and creating more of a collection rather than a need for new clothes, shoes, jackets etc., get rid of a pair of jeans every time you purchase a new one.
The same goes for shoes and other items. Every time you buy something new, give away or recycle the old item.
This will not only create more closet space but also help you realize whether you are shopping based on need or pleasure.
“The question is: Are we just buying more stuff to keep up with fashion, even if we do not really “need” the stuff? Saving is not sexy. Being cool is more the trend. Some of this discussion is just personal knowledge. The power of compound interest is amazing and the sooner you start, the more wealth you can create,” Lainson said.
Try to buy only when necessary. Wearing the same shirt for a couple of days a week is not a bad thing. Change it up and add accessories such as a scarf, necklace or a plaid shirt over it and no one will notice.
CONDUCT RESEARCH ABOUT YOUR FUTURE PURCHASE, COMPARE PRICES
Sometimes fashion is not just about keeping up with the styles people wear but also the things they use. For example, buying the newest electronic or the best-looking car can also be something to take into consideration. Researching the item and looking at several retailers can potentially save you money that you can use somewhere else.
Look into the item online, visit the nearest place where they sell it as well as other places where they might offer better deals. Make a comparison and take the time to consider the benefits each retailer provides.
“Online shopping forces you to be more selective with your money and allows you to keep track of what you’re spending, it’s more precise; physical shopping offers too many distractions,” Etokudo said